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April 11, 2019 9:37 am

Pompeo Declines to Answer If US Would Support Israel’s Annexing the West Bank

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 9, 2019. Photo: Screenshot. – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to answer during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday if the United States would support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow on Saturday to annex parts of Judea and Samaria if he wins re-election on Tuesday.

Which he did.

“I want to ask you about what US policy is right now,” said US Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). “Would we support annexation of the West Bank? Do we oppose it? Are we indifferent to whether that happened?”

Pompeo responded, “We are now working with many parties to share what our vision [is] as to how to resolve this problem.”

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He added that “for decades, there had been all these wonderful experts that have tried to resolve this crisis in the Middle East, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people, and they have each failed. So the old set of ideas aren’t worth retreading. They have simply not succeeded. We are hopeful that our vision, our ideas about what this might look like, how we might proceed to do that, will create the conditions where the Israelis and the Palestinians can resolve this.”

In response to Kaine asking him if a two-state solution is one of “the old ideas,” the secretary of state said “it’s certainly been an idea that’s been around a long time, senator. I would argue that millions of man hours have been spent to try and build out a two-state solution. It hasn’t worked to date. It may work this afternoon, but it hasn’t.”

“You can probably ask 15 other different ways, too, senator,” added Pompeo. “I think ultimately the individuals in the region will sort this out. We want good things for the Palestinians.”

Additionally, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) confronted Pompeo about the Trump administration cutting off US assistance to the Palestinian Authority for rewarding terrorists and their families, asking if it “advances the peace process.”

Pompeo replied that the president’s predecessors “didn’t solve this problem. So whatever policies they chose fail[ed].”

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